International Medical Graduate Training in Urology: Are We Missing an Opportunity?

Joshua Alexander Halpern*, Bashir Al Hussein Al Awamlh, Sameer Mittal, Jonathan E. Shoag, Jim C. Hu, Richard K. Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Objective To examine trends in international medical graduate (IMG) representation within urology and compare these trends to those of other specialties. Methods Urology match data were obtained from the American Urological Association from 1987 to 2015. IMG representation among residencies was extracted from reports on Graduate Medical Education published in Journal of the American Medical Association from 1978 to 2013. We analyzed trends in the number of IMG urology applicants, match rates in urology for IMGs vs US medical graduates, and the annual percentage of IMGs among all urology residents vs residents of other specialties. Results Between 1987 and 2015, 6790 applicants matched into urology. The number of positions offered increased by 24% (224 to 295) between 1987 and 2015. However, the number of IMG urology applicants did not increase accordingly (r = −0.55, P = .78). Match rates for US students and IMGs ranged from 68% to 91% and 6% to 33%, respectively. From 1978 to 2013, the proportion of IMGs across all specialties remained relatively stable (25% to 27%), whereas the proportion of IMGs in urology decreased substantially (27% to 5%). Conclusion The proportion of IMGs in urology training has dramatically decreased over time and remains lower than most other specialties. IMGs are critical to urology as they can assist in meeting workforce demands, contribute diversity to the workplace, and help to propel the field forward through urologic research. Further efforts should be directed toward understanding the unique needs of IMG residents and helping them to navigate the challenges of practicing in a foreign country.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-46
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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